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Rick Santorum 12, Illinois 7, Mitt Romney 6, Massachusetts 6, Us 5, Newt Gingrich 5, America 5, Paul Ryan 5, Washington 5, Phil 4, Aflac 4, Jen 3, Barack Obama 3, Chicago 3, Florida 3, Ge 2, At&t 2, Tennessee 2, Pakistan 2, Hertz 2,
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  MSNBC    NOW With Alex Wagner    News/Business. Alex Wagner.  
   Forces driving the day's stories. New.  

    March 20, 2012
    9:00 - 10:00am PDT  

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mitt romney supporter, phil musser, co-anchor of cnbc's squawk box, "the new york times" andrew ross sorkin, jen ben dri of "the huffington post" and former white house deputy press secretary bill burton who runs the obama super pac, priorities usa action. mitt romney the only man standing in illinois today, as newt gingrich campaigns in louisiana and rick santorum is in pennsylvania. but with team romney these days, is there even such a thing as a decisive win? phil, i want to go to you first on this. and these numbers, i think, are somewhat staggering, if you look at politico reporting in illinois mitt romney outspending rick santorum 7-1. chicago, he's outspending santorum 21-1. i want to unpack the chicago numbers first because why spend that mump money in chicago? isn't that romney territory already or is this a sign of a campaign not letting anything go? >> that's a good question.
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the one thing to know about illinois is that 70% of the vote in the illinois primary comes from north of the interstate 80 that cuts the state in half. or the bulk of the vote comes from, it comes from that region. that's why you spend more money in television in that neck of the woods. there are all kinds of different parts of the state, some are more conservative, some more independent and moderate. spending that you're talking about from the perspective of advertising reflects tactical decision of the super pac and the romney campaign where they should be driving their message. >> folks on my left, bill, you're a money man. i said the word carpet bombing, there's a tally somewhere, in the tens if not 20s. this is again we've seen romney strategy play out again and again. >> right. >> the question, i think, all of us are wondering is, does a win in illinois put it away or is it more of the same where romney spends a bunch of money, wins by some margin that is not enough
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to cement is position as the nominee and the race goes on? >> by the numbers it does not end. rick santorum and newt gingrich do not seem like they're going anywhere. as you step back and look at mitt romney as a candidate, what's happen, i think what you see is a situation where he has an economic message that is not catching on and that's why he's having trouble catching fire out there in the republican primary. it's like the dogs won't eat the dog food out there. >> the dog food. >> not sure i buy that. >> it's starting. >> tee it up with bill. the reality we have a tour-way primary. bill was there four years ago in a two-way primary going down the stretch into pennsylvania well into the spring. our process mirrors the democratic process of 2008. it's going to take a while. but romney laid out a compelling economic message yesterday with an economic freedom speech that laid principles where we should go in the country. >> romney supporter phil musser said in 19 minutes, mitt romney
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said freedom 29 times. andrew and jen. >> freedom. >> he believes in freedom. and let's return to this idea ta this is like the 2008 race because i disagree. i do think -- and i and karl rove, maybe the first time in history, agree on this. >> wow. >> i want to play back and forth between rick santorum and mitt romney and a little bit of karl rove. >> i don't care what the unemployment rate's going to be. it doesn't matter to me. my campaign doesn't hinge on unemployment rates and growth rates. >> one of the people running for the nomination today said he doesn't care about the unemployment rate, it done bother him. i do care about the unemployment rate. senator santorum has the same economic lightweight background the president has. >> if i'm a lightweight, i agree. he's a heavyweight, a big government heavyweight. >> you'd have to say the scales moved from the long process being a positive to being a negative. >> andrew, that quote about i don't care about the
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unemployment rate has been played on a lot of air. >> add nauseam. >> what's telling is the guy hitting him hardest it's the not liberal media it's mitt romney and this is a he back and forth and karl rove saying this is not helping the republican party, this extended primary calendar. >> none of it is. every poll recently, i'm thinking of the "wall street journal" did a poll with nbc news two weeks ago and said it was i think word was corrosive, right? that's what we keep hearing over and over again. tell me if i'm wrong, on the jobs front if we're strictly playing jobs, it is somewhat of a slam dunk. the quote, while i'm sure taken not out of context -- >> i don't either when you listen to it. >> but when you listen to the full thing, i think on jobs, if that's what you're playing against, romney takes it. if you're playing on the social issues and everything else, it's a santorum story. >> i disagree a bit. though romney's comfortable talking about the economy, more comfortable than talking about any other issue, santorum i
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think has a more compelling economic background and story that he tells. and i do think this is the reason romney won't catch on. a big difference between no 2008, worth noting, 2008 obama built his campaign state by state and left behind a huge organization. secondly it was not a blisteringly negative campaign. for romney it's driving -- driving up his disapproval which is a big problem. >> jen, i want to get you in here. after tonight the stuff that always -- the stuff most telling if you talk about any takeaway from the primaries the exit polls which show where the guys are doing among subsections. what's interesting romney's won women consistently but the margin's narrowed. santorum has held evangelicals. among independents between michigan and ohio santorum increased his share by 6%. unsurprisingly among working class voters making under $50,000 a year the numbers are
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bet, favor santorum. he is making inroads amongst independents which gives legitimacy to a continued candidacy. >> in terms of independents, it it seems like there's gains and they take two steps back, two steps forward, two steps back. you see santorum getting headway and then romney taking headway and people start talking about dogs again and it blows up. >> and at this point, i was reading about romney, you know, there was one poll saying he's expected to have a blowout win tonight in illinois. but that goes against what other polls have been saying all along. and they've divided up the state in different regions. >> there's ten delegates that santorum's not el eligible. >> that's santorum's ground game. >> 4 of 18 districts santorum is not eligible to get ballot. romney's on the top of the ballot in illinois and they've
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done the mechanical homework you need to do to put yourself in a position to be competitive nonetheless it's going to be a close election. the way returns will come in tonight, cook county in the northern part of the state first and then down state will trickle in. you could see a big lead early for romney but it could be a close race. nonetheless, the math going forward a lot of talk about delegate math, is really challenging for gingrich and for santorum. the race goes to louisiana, there's a proportional allocation of delegates. >> yep. >> and then head up this direction. good fertile territory for mitt romney to do well. >> you bring up -- he whose name has not been mentioned yet -- newt gingrich who might be at the zoo today. >> hey, he's having fun. >> if you have to guess, at a restaurant or a zoo. newt gingrich politico describes his campaign as slowly expiring. but when you talk about delegate math, i mean this is an issue, right? insofar as the santorum campaign has a strategy, it's just holding mitt romney off 1144
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which is the magic number of delegates. >> it's not a terrible strategy. when that's the only strategy you have, outspent by tens of millions of dollars mitt romney is not coalescing the party behind him. if you keep mitt romney from getting to 1144 have a fight at convention it's great for the democratic process. >> party you mean. >> gingrich is ultimate lit helping romney. >> exactly. >> you take him off the table, numbers change completely. >> right. >> the question is, how much longer is he going to stay in the race? and also, please don't ever leave the race. that's not a question. that's a statement, newt gingrich. please don't ever leave the race from the media perspective. break down the mechanics of the santorum campaign, who is driving the chuck truck these days. who is rick santorum listening to? answers, mostly, next on "now." i'm walt gale,
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governor romney, when it cops to his public character he doesn't have a core. >> mitt romney, who is for romney care this is someone who done have a core. >> if he thinks he's an economic heavyweight he must be looking at a funhouse mirror. >> if he's an economic heavyweight, i'm going to quote, he must be looking in a funhouse mir. >> if imitation is the finest form of flattery, rick santorum hearts david axelrod. bill, i'll go to you. >> who doesn't? >> i'll go to you first on this. we talk about the long game here and obviously getting the nomination is one thing, but then there's the little -- the little known thing as the -- i can't speak -- the general and the fact that you know rick
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santorum, i think to his credit has gotten this far really on a message. >> right. >> no kind of organization to speak of. >> right. >> but what does he do, if he becomes a nominee when he has to face down president obama? this is such a softball i don't know why i'm asking this. >> is sort of astounding santorum has done so well frankly. i can take a shot at how poorly mitt romney's doing that he's losing in some cases, campaign like santorum's. rick santorum has a mess amount that resonated around the country. he's got a fire in his belly to keep this going. he does not have the sort of resources and wherewithal to keep this race go fog too long. >> phil, has it surprised you? this is the santorum campaign is cutting the real preemptively for team obama come 2012, if mitt romney should be the nominee. >> there's so much reel out there that gets cut every day i'm not worried about a particular clip at this point. when we come out of tampa, this is a jump ball race against
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obama. i believe mitt romney against him. romney's the only candidate who has the ability to put together the financial team, structure to run a competitive game against the president. everyone knows that. credit rick santorum for going this far but he doesn't have both either the record, mispositioned in the context of being able to win the general election and as it relates to the organizational structure, as it relates to policy and advice, there's no kind of known conduit to plug into the campaign and as bill knows having run these things you have to start to build a scale if you're making the case to be commander in chief and leader of the free world. there's one candidate in the race who passes the test on our side and that's mitt. >> what about the awesome factor? hogan model was a macgyver model. riv rick a hamburg somewhere a road map and he wins iowa. he doesn't need to be loaded up on talking points. he doesn't need washington bureaucrats what to think.
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hogan added a duct tape and a match also. >> ever get elected president. >> give him credit, you'd want him on your team but not running the show. >> isn't there something to be said for that passion and the fact that that resonates? >> especially when you have someone like mitt romney who isn't the most exciting dynamic person, you know. >> no awesome factor there. >> i mean he's got his strength but the awesome factor, i'm not sure how many people would say he's awesome. >> i'm not saying he's necessarily -- no, we're not -- >> it's not about awesome is probably the wrong terminology but it's about passion and a message that is grounded in deep belief. the fact that rick santorum seems to -- i've said this before, if this guy wasn't on the campaign trail he'd be espousing the same tenets that he his today. >> part of the public that supported obama that's not supporting him now and there's
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all of the disenfranchised voters, if you will, feel or at least felt burned by passion, meaning they voted for passion, voted for rhetoric, voted for this image of something and now they've decided maybe i don't need that. maybe i need brass tacks and that's romney if he's going to win that independent mind that's frustrated on the obama side that's where he scores points. >> i would agree with you in the position that where the president was a month or two months ago but i think that, as you've seen the president do better, sharp message on jobs and the economy, obviously global events he's done a good job managing i think that the president has been doing better wit democrats and independents, and you know, some that enthusiasm is coming back. you're right, though. we do polling, focus groups, there are some questions about the president and whether or not it's possible to change washington. but i tell you what, once there's that choice, one thing i think mitt romney has going for him is that, in the general election there's no doubt the republicans will coalesce behind him. but the question is how much
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energy and enthusiasm they will have? is it enough in virginia, colorado, new mexico to be the difference. >> bill's right. there are a lot of point as long the way to add to the passion behind a campaign. but look, passion is measured in a lot of ways quantifiable. mitt's raised more money than anyone else. people are passionate giving money, a check for $1,000, 50 bucks he's got more than 1 million votesing doubled down in terms of delegate lead. we're giving mitt a hard time and he's got indicators of passion that reflect passion about his people. so this idea that we're going to go to the convention or somewhere else it's unlikely because the reality is that romney has a bun. of chances throughout the summer and fall to energize and pull together the republican party, and it's going to be a close race coming out of tampa. >> quick point, on money and vote support romney is not doing as well as he did last time in certain sectors. look at florida, overall gop
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turnout was down 15%. it's incredible in what people anticipate will be a very competitive year, you know a competitive primary. i think romney does have real enthusiasm problem. you see it in both money and vote total. >> something tells me this argument you're not going to settle it. >> 50% puerto rico. >> after the break, paul ryan rolls out the gop's new budget plan. while both parties prepare to battle over the proposal there are a few major questions that need answering. we'll take a look at those next. ♪ when your chain of supply goes from here to shanghai, that's logistics. ♪ ♪ chips from here, boards from there track it all through the air, that's logistics. ♪
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of debt and decline, or the path that we're proposing, a path to renew prosperity for americans. >> that was house budget committee chair paul ryan unveiling the gop 2013 budget proposal this morning. or as some democrats are calling it, christmas in march. andrew, i want to talk to you about the nuts and bolts of this. we know that the major sort of changes in this piece of proposed legislation, repealing at fordable care act. >> right. >> reducing tax brackets to 1 in 25%, reteeling the alternative minimum tax and reducing the corporate tax rate. there are a lot of questions. >> the biggest one, we had paul wry on "squawk" we couldn't get an answer, how do you pay for all of this? >> exactly. >> exactly which loopholes are being closed? so on mortgage interests, what's going to happen? by the way, there is no answer. it's not in the plan. you can't read it anywhere. you can't find out. maybe you know the answer.
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he done even know the answer. >> he has all of the answers. >> he wants to go back -- this is paul ryan speaking -- he wants to go back and find answers. there's some real questions. this is christmas in mar fch you're a democrat. it's silly season. this is not going anywhere fast. he's put something out. democrats have not put something out, so that's interesting. on the other hand, this is a talking point. it will get people talking. maybe give him credit for just that alone. >> forrer speak or of the house nancy pelosi had a response to paul ryan's plan. listen to what she said this morning. >> medicare under the president's law is going bankrupt. medicare under the president's law is next year turning medicare over to a board of 15 unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats whose job is to circumvent congress and put price controls on medicare which will lead to denied care for current seniors.
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>> to which nancy pelosi said, the american people have already rejected this plan before and this year will be no different. americans' priorities are clear, republicans must work with democrats to preserve and strengthen medicare and not dismantle it. we must act to create jobs is grow our economy. as far as how this plays out, let's unpack the christmas in march thing. i think it's interesting. my celebrity look alike luke russert tweeted that john boehner said this budget will not make it hard for gop house members to win in november. in other words, we're not going to give them any sort of unforeseen boon doogals as they march towards re-election. >> the reality is everybody knows this isn't going to become law, let's have it out to start with. this is purely for political -- >> optics. >> and to argue fundamental beliefs in spending and cutting. and in this case, in spending. i mean, there's zero revenue in this thing. some of the things they've added to this, i mean i noted that they -- they're proposing to
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rely on attrition to cut more government federal employees by 10% in the next three years. its like self-deportation. >> the republicans, again it's symbolic. republicans have repeatedly been going after federal workers and federal worker pay as a symbolic way of shrinking government, taking money and using it for private sector needs. >> i don't think that's where the big enchilada is here. at the end of the day it's an important choice for the country as we go forward in terms of competing visions over how you tackle unsustainable government spending and growth in that spending in our country. we've got a one size fits all 1950s set of systems with respect to our safety net and health care that is broken and we are going on the trajectory towards greece. when you have 73% of your spending, debt as a percentage of your gdp, occupied in that space, that's a huge, huge problem. ryan and house republicans deserve credit for courageously tackling a tough issue.
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republicans should stand tough on this. i want to fight on this in the fall. >> whether he wraps his -- whether he wraps his arms around this or not. >> again, he's supported this plan basically the last time around. >> and i think it's right to. >> look, i think we have this fight, bill. >> great fight to have, i agree with that. >> in the fall, because americans are red r.y for the truth and hard choices and the center realizes we cannot continue to spend our way into the debt we have if we want to grow our economy. romney's not going to run from this. >> there are no hard choices in the ryan budget. he uses $4.3 trillion in cuts offsets of $4.2 trillion in tax cuts, and you're left with nothing on the deficit. yes, this is a time for hard choices. paul ryan makes none. while this does have no chance
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of passing, i agree, president obama would never sign something like this into law this is a indication of what president romney would do. or that reason politics are bad but people should be nervous this is the direct republicans would like to take our country. >> we have to go to break. let's not forget the reception, town halls after ryan's budget plan. coming up the big issue that could haunt mitt romney's campaign and the supreme court case that could undermine president obama's administration. the health care debate boil down to one idea? we will explain, next on "now." choose control. introducing gold choice. the freedom you can only get from hertz to keep the car you reserved or simply choose another. and it's free. ya know, for whoever you are that day. it's just another way you'll be traveling at the speed of hertz. since ameriprise financial was founded back in 1894,
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campaign website, political fate is closely tied to the law and so is mitt romney's. as mitt romney governor of ma m. he developed the blueprint for the president's plan a plan that has come back to haunt him. >> we take away the biggest issue in this race, with someone who is uniquely disqualified to make the case against barack obama. >> bill i want to focus on the president first, because i think being being an outside onner one of the biggest failures of the president was to sell it to the american public. i think there's a very thick shrould of mystery over what precisely is in the bill. >> given -- >> the law. >> given the circumstances that the opponent of health care reform spent $100 million advertising against it while supporters of it spent $10 million, i think the president did a good job of keeping numbers even in the country. if you look at support it ranges from 44% to 51% depending on what poll you're looking at. if there's a fight about this in
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the fall i bet president obama brings it up and democrats bring it up because for mitt romney to campaign on a pledge to repeal things like people being able to get health insurance despite preexisting conditions, being kicked off insurance because of how much you've been costing them, children able to stay on parents' health insurance until 26, those are very difficult to take away from the american people and will not be a winning proposition for mitt romney on whose plan was modelled. >> i think this will continue to be something that americans don't totally get. i mean, it's law now and it's been in effect for two years this week. but i just read something that says 1 in 7 people currently believe that this supreme court has already overturned it. i mean, regardless of the leadup and the selling of it, you know it's a complicated issue. people still don't understand what it's doing, the multi-phase rollout and some people think
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it's gone already. >> what happens interesting is the supreme court is going to bring into very sharp focus the individual mandate which is a big talking point. it is a difficult one, though, of course for mitt romney given his record in massachusetts and his record on the individual mandate. let's -- we did a little sleuthing around. november 2004, the boston glob wrote after romney proposed the health care plan romney believes individuals not to obtain insurance in 2005. june 2005 he said it's the ultimate conservative idea. july he said we can't have 40 million people saying i don't have insurance. and if i get sick i want someone else to pay. and october of 2005 he said i don't see how it works without an individual mandate. phil, how complicating is this for your man, mitt romney? >> i think, look, governor romney's been clear about this. we've had 20-plus debates in the republican party talking about our platform. we've heard about the individual mandate. governor romney's been clear,
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there was a state-based solution trying to create a pool that would bring economies of scale. it's not a mandate that he favor federally, not something he would have put into law with respect to a one size fits all plan that expands government and blows costs out the door. governor romney's been clear about it. this will be another chance, frankly elections are about choices in this fall governor romney's got the stated position he would repeal the national health care law and he'll stick to it. president obama will not, and that will be something that be clear in the context of the debates. >> next week, when -- this whole supreme court issue is going to become a new wedge issue in santorum, going to take this, for everything it's worth. >> yeah. i think that the republican party has really kind of mulched on this issue for a long time. they understand that governor romney put in place a plan in massachusetts that has a mandate and he's explained very carefully and clearly over time that he was simply addressing exercising a federal, you know,
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approach to trying to solve a state-based problem and that's his problem and his other position -- >> given the polls you renks referenced the american public, the nuisance of what you explaineder i'm not sure the rest of the world gets give than 1 out of 7 thinks it's been determined. >> "the washington post"/abc news poll last week, what would you like to see the supreme court do with the law? uphold the law, 26%. throw out the mandate 25%. throw out the whole law 42%. the fact they're separating the mandate from the law is sort of seems ridiculous actually because you can't have the law without the plan date. but clearly the american public is i think unsure as to how it work, what's happening and how they feel about it. >> i think that's right. over the course of the campaign as voters engage they learn more about the issues. you will see president obama and mitt romney talking about this as we get into the fall. and you know, i think that the
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president deserves credit for doing a hard thing. with a lot of people you foe, it's easy to do the politically popular thing in washington but the president said, health care reform is too important not to do and when polls were up and down, he said we've got do this because this is our one moment this generation to do and he got it done. >> it's clear that mitt romney wants to do something with obama care. we have a little montage of sound that i'd like to play for our audience. >> if i'm president we're getting rid of obama care day one. with the end of obama care health care doesn't go away, it just gets better. how come mr. president, you impose this on the american people when we didn't want it? and, mr. president, one more thing, why didn't you call me when you were working on this thing? why didn't you pick up the phone and say is what you've done in massachusetts a good model for the nation? i'd say no, what you're doing is wrong, it's going to make a mess. >> the logic in this, you think he has a clear position. i made these cookies at my house. i never would have given you the
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recipe. i never would have given you the recipe! >> look, it's clear that governor romney was addressing a state-based situation in the state of massachusetts. he doesn't favor this as a prescription for america. this comes down to an entitlement society versus -- talk about tough choices and there's no question it took political capital and courage for barack obama to do this, but it's going to take a lot of political capital and courage to elect someone who will undo it. >> how do you square that with him saying, we can't have as a nation 40 million people or in my state 500,000 saying i don't have insurance and if i get sick i want someone else to pay? how is that not his ethic about the whole thing? >> look, again, mitt romney was working on a state solution in massachusetts and has been very clear that a mandated model is fundamentally broken. just like he said in the clips, you know, president obama didn't pick up the phone and ask advice. frankly, governor romney also had a -- overwhelmingly
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democratic legislature that gummed up a lot of the original proposal that he put together in massachusetts. so you know, he's -- he got an innovative piece of public policy done that you know met a state need, not a national need. >> the reason that this answer's complicated because mitt romney's had several positions on the mandate. for the mandate, against the mandate, for it, now against it again. and the truth is, mitt romney's, you know, the core problem with mitt romney's campaign it's so slippery he doesn't have a real strong message. right, talking about this for 20 bebaits, mitt romney's been running for president for six years. the answer to the question why the president didn't call mitt romney is because the man has been running for president. everything he's done has been through a political lens when he was governor, when he was on the campaign trail and in the gap in between. i'm not sure that conversation would have been productive. >> one of the reasons that the massachusetts law was implemented was to keep extra
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$385 million in federal medicaid money secured by ted kennedy and that was in many ways the impetus for mitt romney to develop this plan. you know, when we played that piece of sound that montage of mitt romney there was one thing that stuck out to me, jen, and it was this, where is it? with the end of oebama care health care doesn't goat away, it just gets better. again, maybe there is a plan. when selling this to the american public i wonder if you watched this battle, this prolonged battle, finally it gets passed and they want to repeal and it replace it with what? i don't know how energizing that message is to the american people. >> i don't think energizing is the word. i don't think anybody would agree it's energizing. it's a complicated issue. it was complicated selling it and ruling it out, now it's law, people believe it's been overturned in the supreme court apparently. so when you talk about getting rid of an entire system that we have now that people don't really understand, still then
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when you say it gets better when you get rid of it, it's a complicated issue, both sides have, you know, their talking points for hitting it and touting it. >> now it goes to score. justice john roberts, good luck with it. after the break, show me the money. president obama's fund-raising campaign brings home the bacon in february. we'll try to unpack where the cash is and ask bill burton next on "now." what makes the sleep number store different? the sleep number bed. the magic of this bed is that you're sleeping on something that conforms to your individual shape. wow! that feels really good. it's hugging my body. it works in a minute. i can get more support. if you change your mind once you get home you can adjust it. so whatever you feel like, the sleep number bed's going to provide it for you. at our semi-annual sleep sale, save $400 to $700 on our most popular bed sets. sale ends soon. only at the sleep number stores. where queen mattresses start at just $699.
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i get my cancer medications through the mail. now washington, they're looking at shutting down post offices coast to coast. closing plants is not the answer. they want to cut 100,000 jobs. it's gonna cost us more, and the service is gonna be less. we could lose clientele because of increased mailing times. the ripple effect is going to be devastating. congress created the problem. and if our legislators get on the ball, they can make the right decisions. has your husband ever come home and said to you, oh, that john boehner, what an idiot? >> it has -- it has never happened. never, never. he has always been upbeat, particularly about congress. >> that was first lady michelle obama on "david letterman"
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joking about his husband's relationship with congress. she came to new york city to play the role of campaign messenger and fund-raiser. bill burton, we have to go to you first on this. president obama raising $45 million in february for both his campaign and the dnc. compared to $29.1 million in january. let's -- why this surge in fun raising? i have my theories. i'd like to know what yours are. >> a couple of things. number one, rufus gifford and juliana smoot on the campaign. democrats are starting to wake up to the fact this is a close, tough election and unless the president has the resources he needs he's not going to be able to get re-elected, it's as simple as that. with the outside money pouring into the race, finances are very important part of being able to remain competitive. >> i -- my theory, in case you'd like to hear it -- >> i would. >> -- the rhetoric around contraception and reproductive
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rights and the gop supposed war on women. i know people who have been sitting on the sidelines saying he's got it, he's got it and that stuff happened and said i got to write him a check. >> there's a threat. when the choice is laid out there's a threat of what could possibly happen. mitt romney is, you know, against federal funding for contraception, against planned parenthood, being in existence. >> but i don't -- go ahead. >> i wanted to go to the money figure, because it shows the competitive nature of the race. when you unpack the 45 million bit, the obama campaign raised $11.8 million in the reporting period. governor romney's raises $11.5. in terms of enthusiasm, you've got to be clear it's dnc money and campaign money. there's a lot of energy on right with respect to third party groups. >> i did clarify, as a good point, rick santorum raised $9 million there a lot of money,
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impressive. >> big donor, that's the story, your man's not doing as well. not doing nearly as well as he did in 2008, i think it was -- right now it's 11,000 people spent over $2,000. >> right. >> back then at the same time before he was the president, it was $23,000. >> important point. >> you see this as an opportunity. i know where you're going. >> a pledge drive. >> there is energy and enthusiasm for mitt romney with wealthy people and it shows up in the finance reports. two, no, it's true, to the extent that people are engaged in the race they see it as a close contest. i don't think that that's true of democrats at large. i don't think all democrats look at this and see mitt romney as somebody who could possibly beat barack obama but you look at polls, look at the context of this, it's a close, tough fight. >> there's an interesting point about this money that's been raises. governor romney has only raises
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primary money, you can give 2500 in the primary. >> call 800 -- >> go to mitt romney.com, welcome for all of the people on msnbc, please, please do that. the point mitt romney's only raises primary money, not taken a cent of general elections funds. >> and santorum's includes general election funds. >> it's an interesting nuance to note. the romney campaign will have the ability to recharge coffers once he becomes the presumptive nominee of the party. >> going back to the surge in february one of the problems for team obama is the fact this is a prolonged primary fight in the republican party and there hasn't been one arch enemy to position themselves against. i do think rick santorum has played a role in sort of ginning up enthusiasm on both sides of the coin. i want to play sound from karen santorum's interview with piers morgan walks back her husband's comments on contraception. >> we talk a lot throughout the
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day. we talk many times about the campaign, what's happening. it's part of the joy of being married where you're always talking things over and krebing each other or talking about how you could have done better or what you should have said or what maybe you should not have said. >> the subtle, the unsaid is and you shouldn't have said any of that stuff about contraception. jen, how much do you think when we talk about enthusiasm, the gop race, the prolonged nature of it has hurt president obama's fund-raising? >> well, i think it would hurt it for now. what is it? march? we have until november. we don't have a presumptive challenger in this gop primary's playing out. people are tuned out. it's kind of boring. it's -- it's going back and forth. and in the meantime you've got this contraception issue playering up that gets at people's cores and democrats will do everything they can to keep the flames going on this
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and they've got rush limbaugh to continue to keep it in the spotlight. it doesn't seem like a lot of excitement. there's not a specific need to give obama money now. that's the general feeling. >> i don't understand why the santorum campaign didn't ha mrs. santorum out there sooner. makes a compelling case. >> the women tend to be better than the men. >> they all do. ann romney's a terrific surrogate. mis michelle obama's out there. santorum did a good job. >> president obama, if we are talking about fundraise, this is staggering, andrew, what do you make of this? president obama attended more than 100 fund-raisers since last april, during the same period bush attended 54. setting all kind of record numbers for fund-raisers attended. do you think anyone cares, a, i guess? b, is this not a sign of a presidency shanghaied by an intractable congress? >> no, i think you to do this,
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right? i would think this is what you have to do, having said that you take shots from a guy like this who's going to say he should be doing work as opposed to raising money and sort of i'm going to slap this one hand and by the way i'll have my other hand out depending who's on the other side of giving the dollars. that's the fundamental political issue. >> i think he's been shanghaied by axlerod an essentially no more getting things done for the country, we have to get elected. the war on women's reproductive rights moves to the volunteer state. we will tell you about the tennessee state legislature's latest moe latest measure. [ tom ] we invented the turbine business right here in schenectady.
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now on to my postscript. tomorrow the tennessee state legislature will vote on the life defense act of 2012. a bill intented to threaten the livelihood of doctors who perform abortions and shame and intim date them who seek them. post an online record of every abortion performs in the state including the doctor's name and address while women who undergo the procedure will not be specifically named the state would post their age, ethnicity, marital status, county of residence, null of prior pregnancies, number of prior abortions, aim of the fetus and preexisting medical conditions. in rural areas specificity makes the pretense of anonymity a joke. this isn't just about small towns and nosy neighbors. for women in tennessee's urban and rural areas alike this is meant to stigmatize, let women know known they're being monitored and scrutinized and choices about nair bodies are no
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longer private. nothing short of reproductive mcmccarthyism. when the tennessee legislature chooses to humiliate women in such a fashion is up to them. whether anyone in the republican party has courage to denounce these attacks against women is another. thank you to phil, andrew, jen and bill. that's all for now. i'll see you back here tomorrow at noon eastern, 9:00 a.m. pacific, joined by hogan gidley and the rnc's former chair, michael steele. "andrea mitchell reports" is next. hello, andrea. >> hi, welcome back, alex. good to see you. women are fighting back over contraception. it's becoming an issue in the campaign. we'll talk to romney and santorum teams. plus, we'll have the latest on trayvon martin's case as members of congress say the federal government should investigate it as a hate crime. exclusive interview with pakistan's foreign minister as
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the parliament there moves to restrict america's drone war. all that coming up right now. stay with us.
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